Good evening, Nets fans. You’re looking sharp. Welcome to a special edition of The Evening After, thanks to a cross-ocean afternoon start. Thank you for your continued support of The Brooklyn Game. Did you know you can get our shirts shipped overseas? I know, insane. Do it at The Brooklyn Game Store. Your support keeps us alive.
Here’s a roundup of today’s Nets festivities.
What happened: The Brooklyn Nets dominated the Atlanta Hawks 127-110, going up by as much as 33 points in the rout. The win is Brooklyn’s sixth in seven games.
Where they stand: The Nets are now 16-22, tied for seventh place in the Eastern Conference with the Detroit Pistons.
Undefeated update: The Nets are undefeated outside of Canada in 2014. Kevin Garnett is undefeated in 2014.
Game Grades: Read ’em here.
Downtown Abbey Joe: The Nets have had a void of consistency this season; with players shuffling in and out of the lineup, they’ve needed someone to rely on. Johnson has been that shooter, and Thursday afternoon was no different: Johnson dropped 26 efficient points in the first half against his former team, hitting five threes. He only hit one more shot after the first half, a buzzer-beating three-pointer to put the Nets up 99-74 after three quarters.
That last three-pointer is just ridiculous: A step-back, behind-the-back dribble fire against the clock. It’s like he shrinks the court with the arc of his shot.
Today’s installment of Shaun Livingston Doing Things:
Livingston is so long and quick that sometimes when he leaps, it looks like he’s flying. Livingston finished the game with just six points and five rebounds in 22 minutes, but continued his reign as super-long, super-quick guard that doesn’t dominate but plays best with excellent teammates.
Jason Kidd Suit Update: Kidd went with what looks like his usual suit choice these days: a dark suit (closer to black than normal), a white-and-blue striped dress shirt with a loose collar, and no tie.
Math can be fun: The Nets made 53 field goals and dished a career-high 38 assists. Every single player scored and only two (Jason Terry, Tyshawn Taylor) shot below 50 percent.
That’s the second time Paul McCartney has shown up to a Nets game, the first nearly a month ago on December 17th. Cool moment during the game: the crowd sang a rendition of “Hey Jude” by the Beatles as McCartney waved. I wonder if he got a t-shirt this time.
My Thoughts At The Half: Joe Cool might drop 50 tonight if the Nets need him in the fourth quarter. They need more from the bench to do that, though.
Third Quarter: The Hawks elected to throw hard double-teams at Johnson in the third quarter, limiting his shooting but giving up shots elsewhere. The Nets were able to spread the ball around, as Paul Pierce, Alan Anderson, and Mirza Teletovic carried the load. The team outscored the Hawks 34-21 in the quarter and led 99-74 after three.
Basketball is a really cool game: When the Nets elected to run their offense through Paul Pierce and spread the floor in the first half, Johnson got loose for spot-up three-pointers, catching fire to the tune of 26 points in the first half. When the Nets elected to run the offense through Johnson, the double-teams opened up the floor, and the Nets caught fire around him: Pierce and Anderson each scored double-digits in the third quarter alone, combining to shoot 7-10 from the field (5-7 from 3) in the period.
Andrei Kirilenko, terrifying Leon Wood:
We all know Andrei Kirilenko is ruthless, but who knew he’d tackle a referee to try to save a loose ball? In a related note, the Hawks got to the line 22 times to the Nets’ 7.
R3cord Str3ak N3arly Brok3n: Heading into Thursday afternoon, Atlanta Hawks forward Kyle Korver had made at least one three-pointer in 107 consecutive games, easily an NBA record. But Korver’s streak was in jeopardy as he missed his first seven three-pointers, finally making one with 8:24 left in the fourth quarter. The make was Korver’s first and only made basket of the game, and they removed him immediately afterwards. Shades of when the Baltimore Orioles would play Cal Ripken, Jr. for only an inning, then remove him to preserve his consecutive games played streak.
I love the NBA.
I Traveled Overseas And All I Got Was This Lousy DNP-CD: Reggie Evans, who started 56 games last season for the Nets, didn’t play a single second in the team’s lone game in London, making him the only player on the roster who didn’t see the floor. It makes sense that he didn’t crack the rotation — the Nets were handling the glass just fine tonight, which is Evans’s biggest strength — but the Nets were up 30 and clearing their benches. This isn’t the first time Evans has racked up a DNP-CD despite there being an obvious opportunity for everyone to play. Something’s up.
Joe Assassin: Johnson, channeling his inner Gerald Henderson, nailed an unsuspecting spectator in the head with a pass:
Everyone was okay, except Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel, who broke into fits of laughter.
Shot Chart Rorschach Test: The Nets team. A BEAUTIFUL, SPRAWLING MEADOW.
Don’t sleep on: The longball lineup doing it again… Jason Kidd’s willingness to go non-traditional and stick with it when the results pay off… The Livingston-Kirilenko-Garnett tandem… Backdoor layups… The Nets secretly not playing great defense in the first half against a spread offense… Livingston’s offensive rebounding… Alan Anderson channeling super-Keith Bogans right as Bogans leaves the Celtics… Kevin Garnett (65.5% from the field, 57.9% from outside the paint, 9.0 points, 7.0 rebounds per game in 2014) returning to form in 2014…
Quote of the Night:
“I didn’t know I had any critics.”
-coach Jason Kidd
Best London player tweet:
What time does the sun wake up in London it's 7am pic.twitter.com/VomeACnrua
— Paul Pierce (@paulpierce34) January 16, 2014
I don’t know either, Paul Pierce. I’m just happy that I don’t know if you’re just waking up or just going to sleep.
Across the river: The New York Knicks lost in a 117-89 blowout to the Indiana Pacers in Indiana. Pacers guard and Brooklyn-born Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 27 points. At 15-24, the Knicks sit 1.5 games behind the Nets for a playoff spot.
Next up: The Nets have another few days off following this game, allowing them to return to the country and shake off the jet lag. They’ll face off against the Knicks for the second battle of New York at Madison Square Garden on Monday, January 20th.